Mou Sen

Mou Sen
b. 22 January 1963, Liaoning
Theatre and film director
Mou Sen is considered one of China’s most avantgarde theatre and documentary film directors. He attended the Beijing Teachers’ University, majoring in Chinese literary criticism. At the university, which offered no formal theatre training, he directed several student productions. After graduation he volunteered to work as resident director for the Tibet Theatre Company. In 1987 he returned to Beijing and established the Frog Experimental Theatre, the first independent theatre company in China since 1949. There he directed Ionesco’s Rhinoceros, Stravinsky’s A Soldier’s Story and Eugene O’Neill’s Great God Brown. In 1989 he became a student of Lin Zhaohua, the deputy director of the Beijing People’s Art Theatre, and together they created the Experimental Studio Theatre Laboratory. At the Laboratory they collaborated on experimental stagings of Hamlet and The Beijing People, a play by Chinese playwright Cao Yu.
He returned to Tibet in 1991 to set up the Tibet Theatre Studio, and in that same year received a grant from the United States Information Agency to visit the United States to conduct a series of interviews with American theatre artists. In 1993 he organized an actor-training programme for actors at the Beijing Film Academy. That same year he changed the name of his theatre company to the Workshop Theatre (Xiju chejian). The company has produced a number of experimental performances including The Other Shore (Bi’an), File 0 (Ling Dang’an) and Things Related to AIDS (Yu aizibing you guande).
File 0, his most famous work, based on a poem by contemporary Chinese poet Yu Jian, is a complex blend of first-person narrative, symbolic imagery, poetry and documentary film footage. It was first performed at the Kunsten Festival des Arts in Brussels (May 1994) and has since toured Europe, Canada and the United States.
Salter, Denis (1996). ‘China’s Theatre of Dissent: A Conversation with Mou Sen and Wu Wenguang’. Asian Theatre Journal 13.2 (Fall): 218–28.

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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